Since I broached the topic of weight issues yesterday, it’s only fair that I set the stage now for many blog posts to come. It’s been almost 19 years since my diagnosis as Type 1, and I’ve gone from a healthy and comfortable weight in my roaring 20s, to being an honestly overweight 40 year old. I accept that true lack of diligence on my part has added extra pounds. For those of you who have not yet made this transition – our lives and our bodies change dramatically in those 2 decades between 20 and 40. Consider yourself warned.
I don’t want to point the blame at anything but myself for this steady weight gain that I’ve had over the years, but let’s be rational and look at what has changed for me in 20 years, and what has helped contribute to my current state of unacceptable BMI:
…at age 20, I took Accutane to get rid of the awful cystic acne that plagued me since the beginning of puberty. You are required to go on birth control pills while taking it (because it WILL cause birth defects), and my ob/gyn recommended I stay on them to help retain my fertility (I’m sure I will tell more jokes about this later. Looking at the side effects, did accutane cause my diabetes?? A question to ponder in another post….)
…I took said birth control pills for 15 years. There is conflicting information about whether or not birth control pills make you gain weight. I personally believe that anything that synthetically whacks out your normal hormonal system is bound to have some adverse systemic effect. Most women report an average of 5 pounds gained each year on birth control. You do the math.
…once I got out of college, I got a job. Sitting down in front of a computer all day. It took more effort to exercise than ever before, and thus, exercise fell by the wayside in lieu of making money to pay off college loans, and spending time outside of work socializing with friends and dating.
…over the years, I’ve become more insulin-resistant, very much like a Type 2. I have taken Metformin since having a baby to help with some crazy sugar spikes, and slightly reduce my insulin requirements. As we all know, more insulin = more weight gain. (more thoughts on Metformin in future posts…)
…I got married at last when I was 35. I was happy and eating out a lot more than ever before. (But yay, I have an awesome husband! He loves me no matter what I look like, and has supported me more than I ever dreamed was possible.)
…and we started trying to have a baby. I had fertility issues. I took crazy amounts of fertility drugs for 3 years, went through several rounds of IVF. Stress. Emotional roller coasters. More weight.
…after much heartbreak and hope, I had a baby! Add on baby weight. (This weight I carry as a badge of honor. I freaking had a BABY!! I will gladly gain that weight again if I can ever have another. )
The good news is, I love my life, and I love all the people in it. I wouldn’t trade the years of struggle with my weight if it meant I wouldn’t have my friends and family that I have now in my life.
I recognize that there are lots of factors that led me to the place I am today – having to work hard to get back to some semblance of that healthy and comfortable weight of my roaring 20s. Most of the people who meet me today and who never knew me in the olden days are a little surprised, and probably think I am lying when I say I’m a Type 1 diabetic. They think that because I’m overweight now, I must be Type 2, right? But I know plenty of thin Type 2’s. And through my ever-growing circle of diabetic friends, I’m meeting more and more overweight Type 1’s. I wish people weren’t so quick to judge. I wish more people were educated about diabetes in general. I wish they would trust me when I say, “I’m a Type 1.”